Alexandrine  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A kind of heroic verse.

Origin

There is some doubt as to the origin of the name; but most probably it is derived from a collection of Alexandrine romances, collected in the 12th century, of which Alexander the Great was the hero, and in which he was represented, somewhat like the British Arthur, as the pride and crown of chivalry. Before the publication of this work most of the trouvère romances appeared in octosyllabic verse. There is also a theory that the form was invented by a poet named Alexander. The new work, which was henceforth to set the fashion to French literature, was written in lines of twelve syllables, but with a freedom of pause which was afterwards greatly curtailed. The new fashion, however, was not adopted all at once. The metre fell into disuse until the reign of Francis I, when it was revived by Jean-Antoine de Baïf, one of the seven poets known as La Pléiade.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Alexandrine" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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